The head of the press service of the U.S. Department of state Heather Nauert at a briefing on Wednesday said that the suspension of issuing the Russian American nonimmigrant visas is not a response to the downsizing of the American diplomatic missions in Russia.
According to her, the Russian media “went crazy”, reporting that the US retaliated.
“Let me state clearly that the United States had not taken any retaliatory measures against Russia. Unfortunately, we were forced to reduce the size of our mission in Russia… Because we had to reduce the number of staff, which considers issues related to visas, we had to suspend the acceptance of applications from the Russians, who now want to come to the United States” — quoted TASS Nauert.
State Department spokesman added that the first priority of the staff of embassies and consulates is to care for the citizens of the United States. “Americans come first when it comes to issuing visas,” — said Nauert.
Again calling Moscow’s decision on the reduction of diplomatic personnel, the unfortunate, the head of the press service of the state Department added: “Russia knew this would happen, because they know what the staff at the consulates”.
As reported by “Reuters”, August 21, the U.S. Embassy in Russia announced the suspension of August 23, non-immigrant visa. It will resume on 1 September, but only in Moscow, in the Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, the visa will not be made.
Earlier, the Russian foreign Ministry has demanded that Washington until 1 September to bring the number of employees of American diplomatic missions in Russia in accordance with Russian diplomats in the United States. All Russia needs to exit 755 employees.